Students from Lake City Secondary will be joining the Williams Lake Community Band in a workshop with Vancouver composer and musician Robert Buckley on Feb. 24. The workshop will be followed by a performance at the Gibraltar Room at 7 p.m. Angie Mindus photo

Band workshop and concert with Robert Buckley open to the public

Williams Lake Community Band hosting Canada150 concert

The Williams Lake Community Band is hosting a workshop and concert on Saturday, Feb. 24. Robert Buckley, a Canadian composer and musician based out of Vancouver, is coming to Williams Lake to lead the workshop. This will be happening at the Gibraltar Room, at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.

Buckley was born in Brighton, England. He now spends part of the year in England and part of the year in Vancouver, Canada. Buckley has had a diverse career as a composer, arranger, performer, producer, recording artist and conductor. In the pop world, he created several albums and hit songs with labels such as CBS and A&M. The number one single Letting Go won him a gold record. He conducted and arranged for major artists such as Michael Buble, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Our Lady Peace, Simple Plan and Aerosmith, to name a few.

Upon leaving university he started working professionally and appeared weekly on the television series Let’s Go as keyboardist, saxophonist and arranger. In his quest to combine rock, jazz and symphonic music he formed the band Spring and performed the original work Song Cycle with the Vancouver and Edmonton Symphonies. Also with the band Spring he had his first top 10 single. Then, as a member the rock bands Straight Lines (CBS Records) and Body Electric (A&M Records), his keyboard and song writing talents contributed to five albums containing several top-10 singles and a gold record with the number one single Letting Go. During this time Buckley worked professionally as a composer, arranger, performer, producer and conductor for records, theme music for television series and specials, commercials, audio-visuals, dance, musicals, symphonic works and films.

The diverse nature or his background has given him the opportunity to write every conceivable kind of music, including orchestral, rock, jazz, country, techno, experimental, and contemporary. He composed the music for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, B.C. In 1986 he composed This Is My Home for the Canada Pavilion at Expo ’86, a song which has been performed at every Canada Day since and has become like a second national anthem.

He did string arrangements for Bryan Adams’ latest two albums. He composed two musicals for the Charlottetown Festival, one of which has been running for nine years. He has scored hundreds of television programs including the award winning computer-animated series Reboot, Transformers and Shadow Raiders and most recently the computer-animated movie Casper’s Haunted Christmas. He has a state-of-the-art digital music studio with a huge template of instruments and sounds and is equally at home in front of a rack of midi gear or a symphony orchestra.

The workshop and concert will consist of works by Robert Buckley, Rocco Catalano and Ralph Ford, and is in conjunction with the Canada 150 celebration. This would not be possible without the generous support of the Cariboo Regional District and the City of Williams Lake through the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society.

The workshop is all day and the open portion of the rehearsal will be in the afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m., with the concert at 7: p.m. The community band will be joined by several students from local school band programs and others. Admission will be by donation and will go to the Lake City Secondary School Band Program Scholarships.

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